IPad vs. Nook vs. Kindle: Who's Winning (If anyone)?

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 9:29 am
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

So, it’s been almost a month since the IPad came out and the question on everyone’s mind — is the Kindle dead yet?

Well, maybe that’s not the question on everyone’s mind but I’m sure someone, somewhere, might be wondering. After all, a lot of the talk (here included) was about whether or not it would be a Kindle killer, would it help the Kindle or would the two find a way to co-exist.

Before we get to that, though, let’s take a quick look at the pre-IPad world.

According to a report earlier this week from Digitimes Research, which tracks this sort of thing, in March — the Nook from Barnes and Noble outsold the KIndle, accounting for roughly 53 percent of all e-book readers shipped that month.

The site attributed that to the fact that the Nook was fairly new, the Kindle had been on the market, and people were curious about the new thing.

Digitimes estimates that 1.43 million e-reader devices shipped during the first quarter of 2010, the last quarter Before IPad.

So, where does Apple’s new device fit into this landscape?

Well, keep that 1.43 million number in mind.

First, there was the announcement from Apple that they had sold 300,000 units the first day, which was a testament to the company’s ever-successful hype machine (plus the fact they tend to deliver on that hype).

Then, less than a week later, while unveiling the new IPhone operating system, they revealed they had sold another 150,000 devices.

Now, let me introduce you to Chitika Labs, which has been using cookies to track IPad sales. They concede it’s not a perfect system but, they seem pretty confident.

As of this writing, their live counter indicated that more than 1.1 million IPads have been sold already.

Which brings us back to the beginning: who’s winning? Well, on one level, it would seem Apple based on sales alone.

But what does it all mean? Does it mean the Kindle is doomed? The Nook’s on its way out?

With meaning to be too much of a wuss, I would have to say the answers are: it’s too early too really tell but my sense is, it’s all good and no and no.

While I have a soft spot for the printed word, books and newspapers that I can hold in my hand, and want them to be around for a long time — and am also concerned that the emphasis on e-readers, could take away from kids in schools, I do think that anything that gets people reading more is probably a good thing.

The question that remains, though, is that what’s happening?

According to, which tracks apps, books make up more than one out of every five apps available in the ITunes store — 22 percent — yet account for only 3 percent of apps that are downloaded.

In other words, while new devices keep coming out, it may be too early to declare a winner and, in the meantime, keep visiting bookstores — an independent one, if you can.

  1. Colin,

    Thanks for this roundup of which e-readers have been selling so far. I am keenly interested in e-reader technology, to see where it is going and to see whether it will get more people reading. I was not aware of the sales numbers of these devices, so that’s helpful. I am not surprised that the Kindle is being outsold by the Nook. People want color.

  2. Initial sales is an incredibly unscientific and nonemperical way to pick a victor in the e-book market. Would you declare a winner in a baseball game after the outcome of the first at-bat?

    However, if you managed to get some free devices out of writing this article: hat-tip.

  3. I was considering getting an e-reader, then waited when I heard about the I-pad and now will wait for the next generation of I-Pads to see what they do….. so if anything, I think people are like me, waiting to see and that may be hurting all of them.

  4. Turn Kindle into something more useful than a reader….and more people will buy it

  5. Ok, so obviously I’m a nook user. You’re article isn’t bad, what I feel most people are not understanding is that the ipad was not created to be a eReader. It is a whole other technology. Devices like the nook, Kindle and Sony eReaders are made to be smaller, compact, easy on the eyes with the eInk technology, such things like that are what you should be talking about and comparing between the devices that are ALIKE. The ipad is a great machine, I hope it does well, but overall, in the end, people are going to want something smaller, lighter, and isnt going to give them a headache after using it for an hour. No matter how “pretty neat” it may be.

  6. I don’t care for either. Why are people too lazy to simply turn pages?

  7. All of you who are waiting to buy the “big winner” in ebook readers are missing out. I’ve been reading ebooks for years, first on my Palm E2, then on my Centro, and now on my iPod Touch. I’ve saved a lot of money, and I always have books to read with me…without having to carry books. Thanks to the online bookstores I do business with, including Barnes and Noble, I know where all my books are, too. If I want to reread or refer, I download them again for free from one of my online libraries.

  8. The point of ereaders is there is no glare, no back lighting which causes severe eye strain. And why would you want to read an entire book on a tiny device when you could on something the size and weight of a paper back book?

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